Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Loyiso Nkohla murder accused appears in court

A 38-year-old man appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Monday for the murder of Loyiso Mabandla Nkohla.

Nkohla was shot and killed at the Phillipi Railway Station in April this year.

Police suspect that he was killed for his role in talks to clear Metrorail’s central line in the city where people have built shacks.

Zukisa Tshabile was arrested on Friday and is charged with murder and three counts of murder.

The State further alleged that the mastermind had been employed as a manager in a cleaning company owned by Nkohla and his wife, Nyameka.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s Eric Ntabazalila added that Tshabile also faces other charges related to Nkohla's murder.

"I can confirm that Zukisa Tshabile, 38, appeared in the Athlone Magistrates Court today [Monday] charged with the murder of Loyiso Nkohla. He also faces about 17 charges of attempted murder."

The case was postponed to November 6 and Tshabile remains in custody.

 

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Western Cape police rescue kidnapped Bangladeshi national

Police rescued a Bangladeshi national kidnapped on Monday in Touwsriver in the Western Cape.

According to the police, a ransom was demanded for the victim’s safe return. The provincial Multidisciplinary Kidnapping Task Team arrested four suspects on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa, says the suspects are also Bangladeshi nationals and face charges of kidnapping and extortion.

“Following the kidnapping of a 19-year-old Bangladeshi on Monday in Touws River where, after a ransom was demanded, members of the Western Cape multidisciplinary kidnapping task team sprang into action in pursuit of vital information and descended on a location in the area where they rescued the hostage on Wednesday ,” said Potelwa.

“Four suspects, also Bangladeshi men, were subsequently arrested and are facing kidnapping and extortion charges. The rescued man was taken to a medical facility for assessment.”

                                      

                                         Picture: Pixabay


Done by: Alungile Njemla

Limpopo Police recover 16 bags of precious stones, ammunition and explosives

The Police at Gravelote area in Limpopo recovered 16 bags of suspected precious stones, explosives, 323 ammunition of different kinds of firearms abandoned at old mining shafts at Madupa and Harmony mines.

According to information received, the members were on operation when they saw a group of people suspected to be mining illegally. When the suspects saw the police, they ran to different directions, leaving some items behind. These items include cellphones, Hacksaw, a Generator, and a Drill.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe hailed the Operational Teams for recovering the special stones, ammunition and explosives among other items.

The operations focusing on illegal mining activities are continuing across the province.



Done by: Esona Mfazwe

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Western Cape police launched a manhunt after a mass shooting in Mfuleni

Western Cape police have launched an investigation into the murder of three men and an attempted murder on another man in Mfuleni on Tuesday evening.

Reports from the scene indicate seven men were in a shack in ntambane Street, Phola Park, when unknown gunmen entered and started shooting at the victims.  As a result, three victims died on the scene and a fourth one sustained injury. He was taken to a medical facility for treatment.

Three other men who were in the shack escaped injury. The motive for the shooting is still unknown, and arrests have been made yet.

This shooting is the latest in a number of mass killings reported in October in Mfuleni, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha.



Done by Esona Mfazwe

Police rescue kidnapped Portuguese national

Police have rescued a Portuguese national who was kidnapped on Monday in Bramley, Johannesburg.

The SAPS National Ant-Kidnapping Task Team found the 53-year-old in Kempton Park unharmed yesterday.

Police have arrested nine suspects in connection with the kidnapping. No ransom amount was paid for the kidnapping.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, says it is disappointing that one of the suspects is a police officer.

"The Anti-Kidnapping Task Team pounced on the address where the businessman had been kept in Kempton Park and arrested four men and a woman. At another identified address in Hillbrow, two women and a man were also arrested," she said.

In addition, a 41-year-old police officer was arrested at his place of work.

Mathe added that the kidnapping syndicate is believed to have been involved in at least five kidnapping cases in which Portuguese businessmen were targeted.

"They would demand ransom payments from the victims' families. No ransom payment was made at the time when police rescued the victim," said Mathe.

                                          

                                    Picture: Pixabay

                                  

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Suspect arrested in Gqeberha on charges of alleged bank robbery

On Tuesday, the Gqeberha Hawks took Sinako Magi who was suspected of robbing a bank, into custody. That same day, Magi appeared at Gqeberha New Law court. Two males are said to have invaded the Absa Bank branch located on Govan Mbeki Street in Central on November 22, 2021.

According to reports, the pair supposedly posed as customers, one of them came up to the cashier and gave her a message on paper with a strong instruction to give over the cash in her drawer so she would not be hurt or killed. It is said that the teller followed the directive and turned over the more than R27 000 that was in her drawer.

Both suspects reportedly left the bank after receiving the money. Investigations ensued after the matter was reported to the Hawks.  Magi is reported to be serving a 15 years sentence in a Western Cape prison a similar matter.

Police spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said Magi was presented before the Gqeberha New Law Court and the case was remanded until November 7, 2023, so that legal counsel could be obtained and police are still looking for his co-accused, who is still at large.

 

Done by: Esobusi Mkangelwa

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Law enforcement officers to be deployed at public transport facilities across Cape Town

 PHOTO: officials/ City of Cape Town 


The City of Cape Town is expected to deploy additional law enforcement officers at public transport facilities across Cape Town in efforts to fight criminal activities, enforce compliance with by-laws and address informal trading matters. 

The Western Cape Mobility Department is funding this team, named the Public Transport Facilities Safety Team as part of its safer public transport initiative.

Cape Town mayor Gerodin Hill-Lewis said the team would soon start with active duty at public transport facilities where there is an urgent need for additional safety and security interventions. 

“The deployment will be based on hotspot identification by our data analysts from the City's Public Transport Department. This will ensure that resources are deployed where most needed, based on sound evidence. I trust this joint initiative with the Western Cape Mobility Department will contribute to our efforts to make transport facilities safer for our commuters, transport operators, and all who use these spaces,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

Mayco member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas urged the commuters and operators please support these officers, and to work with them. 


Done by Esona Mfazwe

Public Emergency Communication Centre recorded 40% increase on car accidents in the previous week

The City of Cape Town’s Public Emergency Communication Centre recorded 70 incidents of car accidents over the weekend compared to 50 the previous week. Traffic Service recorded a marked increase in traffic offences. 

Metro Police Department made 18 arrests for drunk driving in Kuils River, and on a Sunday, no less. The Traffic Service recorded a 64% increase in offences, week-on-week. 

Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith said Road safety is a shared responsibility, but the statistics show very little evidence to support that. 

“It's of grave concern, as we head into the festive season, which is one of our busiest periods on the roads. We'll be ramping up our operations, so I'd advise road users to change gears, or face the consequences,” said JP Smith.

Traffic Service recorded 73 004 offences last week, compared to 44 587 the week before. Overall arrests also were up, from 67 to 83, with 58 arrests for driving under the influence, 13 for reckless and negligent driving and 12 for various other charges.

 

Done By: Esona Mfazwe

 

Four alleged robbers arrested in Claremont on Saturday

Members of the Western Cape Flying Squad and Law Enforcement responded to a warning about a suspicious black Toyota Yaris that may have been equipped with cloned registration plates, which led to a high-speed pursuit in Claremont that resulted in the arrest.

The police spokesperson, Malcolm Pojie, stated that the members saw the automobile and that the individual inside turned out to be the getaway car's driver.

“As the members were about to approach the vehicle, three men came running out of a store and boarded the vehicle, the Yaris, which immediately sped off. A high-speed chase ensued and upon searching the vehicle, members found three firearms, clothing items, bedding, cellphones and a substantial amount of cash. The four were arrested and detained at the Claremont police holding cells,” Malcolm Pojie said.

He added that further investigation confirmed the suspects had robbed a shop, at gunpoint, in Claremont.

The suspects will appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

 

Done by: Esobusi Mkangelwa

Leap officers continue their successes against crime

The Western Cape’s Law Enforcement Advance Plan (LEAP) officers confiscated illegal 28 firearms in different communities last month.

The officers also arrested more than one-thousand suspects during this period for various. The firearms were confiscated in areas that include Khayelitsha Manenberg, Bishop Lavis, Mfuleni, and Samora Machel.

Western Cape MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, says the province will continue to support the Leap officers.

“These firearms confiscations are extremely vital in our fight against murders. Firearms continue to be the weapon of choice which criminals use to commit their heinous crimes. Various fatal shootings were recorded during September and part of October, which cannot continue unabated. As the Western Cape Government, we are deeply concerned about the recent violence. This has us more determined to combat and address the current trend of violence.”

“As the Western Cape Government, we will continue to support our LEAP officers, as through their interventions with various stakeholders, they are ensuring that we work towards our goal which is to halve the murder rate by 2029. We are grateful for our LEAP officers, as they operate in challenging conditions. Our call is for community members to support our officers as they are working tirelessly to ensure safer areas where our residents can live in an improved and dignified manner,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.

 

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Monday, October 23, 2023

Western Cape is worried about possible disruptions to matric exams

The Western Cape Department of Education MEC, David Maynier, has called on the public to make sure that there are no disruptions to the matric exams in the province this year.

The exams will start on Tuesday with Computer Application and Information Technology on Wednesday.

Maynier has expressed concern about the possible impact of loadshedding on the exams.

The MEC says the province has contingency measures in place in case of loadshedding during exams.

“The WCED appeals to everyone in the Western Cape to treat matrics as the VIPs of the province for the next few weeks. We do not want to see their futures compromised by the selfish actions of the few,” the department said in a statement.

“We are also mindful of the impact of the ongoing load shedding, and assure our matrics that we have the necessary protocols in place for exams to continue in the case of both scheduled and unscheduled power outages.”

                                            

                                          Picture: Pixabay

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Friday, October 20, 2023

Western Cape launches Junior Traffic Training Centre

The Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, and Mobility MEC, Ricardo Mackenzie launched the Junior Traffic Training Centre yesterday.

The centre was launched at Nederburg Primary School in Paarl.

The purpose of the centre is to educate young learners about road safety in a play environment.

Children can practice crossing a road safely, being cautious of traffic as a cyclist, and interacting with pedestrians as a motorist without exposure to the dangers of real traffic situations.

Mackenzie says they will continue to ensure road safety and help reduce the number of children who are hurt or killed on the roads.

Minister Mackenzie said, “This is the 36th Junior Traffic Training Centre that our Mobility Department’s Road Safety Management team has launched across the Western Cape. Each one of these Training Centres is a demonstration of our commitment to road safety and reducing the number of children who are hurt or killed on the roads. I trust that this facility will enable young learners to become experts in road safety and motivate them to educate their families and communities about how to look out for all the other people using the road.”

Premier Alan Winde said, "We must start educating our children from early in their lives to behave responsibly on our roads. By raising awareness while they are young, we can develop future generations of responsible road users, and in doing this we can prevent and reduce tragedies. With this Junior Traffic Training Initiative, we are making road safety relatable, immersive and, more importantly, fun for our children. There is no bigger priority than keeping children safe, whether at school, home or in public places like roads. We are investing a lot of resources into seeing that our youth are indeed safe wherever they go. I hope what they learn can even be passed on to their parents, guardians and other adults."

 

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Four people, including two City of Cape Town officials arrested for fraud

A fraud investigation in connection with a housing development in Mfuleni resulted to the arrest of four suspects on Thursday, 19 October, two of the suspects were City of Cape Town officials.

Police were assigned to investigate allegations of fraud after the City of Cape Town made available plots for a housing development in Ext 2 in Mfuleni last year.

Accused to the police spokesperson, Colonel Andrè Traut said two City of Cape Town officials collaborated with two others to market these plots and with their criminal scheme, they persuaded 11 buyers to deposit large sums of money into a bank account, which shared with the two officials.

“This scheme resulted in a financial loss of R900 000 suffered by the victims for real estate that they never received ownership of,” said Andrè Traut.

As the investigation unfolds, more arrests could be made.


Done by: Esona Mfazwe

 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Cape Town police vow to rid the streets of illegal guns

Police in the Western Cape have promised to continue their efforts to rid the province of illegal firearms.

Members of the provincial Anti-Gang Unit searched identified premises in Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Eesterivier on Tuesday.

Two suspects were arrested for the possession of illegal firearms in Lavender Hill after police found the weapons in their houses.

According to the police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie, two more firearms were found in Eersterivier during a tracing operation.

"Yesterday, Tuesday, 17 October 2023, the members conducted a thorough search at a premises situated in Peter Charles Street, Cafda Village where they discovered a 9mm Z88 pistol, which was hidden in a secret compartment in the wall. They arrested a 37-year-old man for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition."

Pojie said the AGU then pounced on a residence in Grindall Avenue in Lavender Hill.

"They found a 23-year-old man in possession of a 9mm Z88 pistol without a serial number and two rounds of ammunition. The man was arrested for the illegal possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition. Both suspects had been detained at the Steenberg police holding cells and will appear in the Wynberg Magistrates Court on the mentioned charges."

                                           


Picture: Pixabay
                                             


Done by: Alungile Njemla

Police seize drugs worth R70 million at Durban Harbor

 PHOTO: SAPS

Authorities busted cocaine with an estimated worth of R70 million in Durban Harbor on Wednesday, 18 October.

In the past month, officers have been monitoring and keeping surveillance on a vessel that was making its way to South Africa from Brazil, and before it arrived at the Port of Durban, members mobilized units and resources to conduct a search and seizure operation on the identified containers.

A multidisciplinary operation was conducted on Thursday 19 October, and 20 litre paint containers were seized. Inside, police found 200 blocks of cocaine.

Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele commended the meticulous investigative work at play.

“We will continue to stamp the authority of the state, we are strengthening our response and our strategy in dealing with these syndicates”, said Minister Cele.

The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola said the National Safer Festive Season Operations are gaining momentum.

 

Done by: Esona Mfazwe

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Five Parliament officials implicated in National Assembly building fire

Five Parliament officials have been implicated for both system and human resource lapses that contributed to National Assembly building fire.

This was revealed by Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George, on Wednesday.

George held a briefing on the findings of an internal investigation commissioned in January last year.

The probe found that the fire could have been prevented if the parliamentary precinct had been better secured.

It also found a host of fire security measures such as doors and alarms that were not functioning properly at the time.

According to reports, the decision not to deploy parliamentary security staff at night, on weekends and on public holidays, also contributed to the security breach.

Zandile Mafe is currently the only person facing criminal charges related to sparking the fire.

 

Done by: Alungile Njemla

The City of Cape Town is worried about the effect that violence is having on libraries .

Concerns over vandalism and violence that are interfering with library operations have been raised by the City of Cape Town.

On Monday, two deceased bodies were discovered close to the Manenberg Library. The City claims that because of the frequent gunshots in the area, the Khayelitsha Library closes for a few hours every day.

According to the city, staff and clients are traumatized.

“The closure of libraries even if it is for few hours is time lost to residents who want to study, research or socialize because libraries are safe spaces for residents spend time to relax and fine information they need so they must be kept safe, said the MMC for Community Services and Health, Patricia van der Ross.


Done by: Esobusi Mkangelwa 


City of Cape Town announced planned electricity supply interruption in Atlantis

The City of Cape Town’s Electricity Generation and Distribution Department advised residents in Atlantis that a necessary electricity supply interruption will be carried out on Sunday 22 October. 

According to the City of Cape Town, this is critical maintenance to important electricity infrastructure in the area. The maintenance work ensures reliable electricity supply for residents.

“The electricity supply could be restored at any time and customers must please treat all electrical installations as live for the full duration of the interruption.”

Residents are encouraged to turn off electrical appliances as a precaution and avoid damage from power surges when power is restored.

 

Done by: Esona Mfazwe 

Vredefort police are investigating the deaths of two girls

An inquest for investigation after the two children aged three and four were declared dead at the Multi-Purpose Centre in Mokwallo Vredefort.

 Free State Police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane appealed to the community to allow investigators to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

“An appeal is made to our community not to jump to any conclusions or presumptions which can lead to start pointing fingers without any tangible evidence on hand.”

Motswenyane assured residents that once the autopsy is completed and the results prove that a particular person is responsible for the kids’ death, that person will face the full consequences. 

 

Done by: Esona Mfazwe

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The City of Cape Town’s traffic officers arrested several suspects over the weekend.

Over the weekend  police arrested suspects for several charges, the charges include driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless and negligent driving and other transgressions.

According to the police, during a vehicle checkpoint on Sunday in Khayelitsha, metro police officers detained 13 drivers, ranging in age from 23 to 45, for driving while intoxicated. Police investigating CCTV footage from the same day discovered a two-vehicle collision on the N1 off-ramp to Plattekloof, police detained one of the drivers in Parow SAPS.

According to the City of cape town,three suspects were detained for drug possession and two crushed Mandrax tablets on Saturday and Strand SAPS took the suspects into custody.  

Overall sixty-two suspects were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and five suspects were arrested for reckless and negligent driving.

The city will continue working with the law enforcement agencies to ensure crime prevention in the city.

  PICTURE BY: PIXABAY

Done by: Esobusi Mkangelwa

Eskom Rotek Industries sub-contractor employee arrested for soliciting a bribe

Eskom says one of its Rotek Industries (ERI) sub-contractors was arrested last week for bribery at the Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga.

The suspect approached a coal truck driver and alleged that he had off-loaded coal mixed with rocks on September 26.

The suspect entered the truck cab and produced three pieces of rocks, presumably being part of the coal meant for delivery at the power station.

He reportedly informed the driver that rocks were a problem and that he was grounding all the trucks.

According to the Eskom’s spokesperson, Daphne Mokwena, the suspect then attempted to solicit a bribe of six-thousand rand to offload the coal.

Eskom Security acting general manager Botse Sikhwitshi said the arrest of the sub-contractor was an encouraging step in their persistent efforts to fight crime.

“There is compelling evidence against the suspect. We commend the driver and supervisor who refused to pay the bribe and reported the matter to Eskom. It is through such co-operative efforts that the battle against crime and corruption will be won,” said Sikhwitshi.

 

Done by: Alungile Njemla

Monday, October 16, 2023

Western Cape call on police to improve tactics in fighting crime

The Western Cape Government has called on the police to improve their tactics to end violent crime in the province.

This follows another mass shooting that claimed the lives of three people in Nyanga this weekend.

The victims were ambushed by unknown gunmen on Sunday afternoon.

Police suspect that the shooting is related to extortion or retaliation to another shooting.

According to the police spokesperson, Col Andrè Traut, the three yet to be identified victims were ambushed by their killers at around 4pm in Ntlangano Crescent and killed on the scene.

“One victim was found inside his white Toyota Avanza, one next to the vehicle and one in a tailoring business operating from a container in the street", he added.

Traut said detectives and crime scene experts were examining the scene for clues in what police believe could be an attack “linked to extortion or possibly retaliation”.

MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, says Nyanga cannot be the murder capital of the country again.

                                                 

                                                    Picture: Pixabay


Done by: Alungile Njemla

Cape Town police seize R75 million rand worth of counterfeit goods

The National Safer Festive Season operations have begun, as Western Cape police seized R75 million rand worth of counterfeit goods and R200 000 in cash from a shopping centre in Bellville.

The counterfeit goods raid led by the SAPS took place just as the SAPS rolled out its nationwide safer festive season operations.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said police are intensifying operations to deal with crime in all forms.  Regular roadblocks stop and searches, as well as the tracing of wanted suspects are being intensified as the SAPS ushers in the busy festive period.

“This was done assist police to bolster their crime combating efforts and heighten visibility in gang ridden areas where murders are prevalent,” said Mathe.

Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele handed over thirty-six vehicles to assist police in their crime combatting efforts and heighten visibility in gang-ridden areas where murders are prevalent.

The SAPS Safer Festive Season Operational Plan was rolled out on Saturday, 14 October in all provinces. The plan will see heightened focus on seven areas, which include GBVF, combatting of serious and violent crime such as aggravated robberies, border security, strengthening by-laws, road safety, as well as illegal mining.

In a bid to improve and enhance service delivery, the SAPS has also launched a service rating platform where members of the public will now be able to rate the service they are receiving from all Police Stations across the country. This online rating platform will allow all people borders to rate whatever service they have received at their local Police Station.

 

Done by: Esona Mfazwe

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Number of people driving recklessly on Western Cape roads, remains a concern for provincial authorities

The number of people driving recklessly on Western Cape roads, remains a concern for provincial authorities.

Between 2 and 8 October 2023, Western Cape Traffic Officials wrote 222 speeding offences.

These include:

·         160km/h in a 120km/h zone;

·         139km/h in a 100km/h zone;

·         109km/h in an 80km/h zone;

·         94km/h in a 70km/h zone;

·         104km/h in a 60km/h zone; and

·         59km/h in a 40km/h zone.

At the same time, 115 motorists were arrested for various offences, ranging from driving under the influence of alcohol, to being in possession of fraudulent documentation, to reckless and negligent driving.

PICTURE: Pixabay


During this week, twenty-four people lost their lives on Western Cape roads, with 17 being pedestrians, 4 were passengers, and 3 drivers were killed on the province’s roads. Twenty-two crashes occurred in the reporting period.

Of the 34 357 vehicles checked by Provincial Traffic Inspectors in the week of 2-8 October 2023, 10 246 fines were issued for various traffic violations ranging from driver to vehicle fitness. Twenty-two vehicles were impounded and 189 were discontinued for being unroadworthy.

In the previous report (8 September 2023), Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Ricardo Mackenzie, shared his dismay at the number of drivers who drive recklessly on the province’s roads. 316 speeding offences were recorded across the province, between 28 August – 3 September 2023). In the same period, 21 people lost their lives on Western Cape roads.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Western Cape’s Mobility MEC lauded provincial traffic officials after they arrested six suspects for dealing or possessing drugs

Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Ricardo Mackenzie, lauded provincial traffic officials after they arrested six suspects for dealing or possessing drugs, earlier this week.

On Monday, Traffic Law Enforcement officers from Beaufort West and Caledon Provincial Traffic Centres apprehended three different vehicles carrying drugs on the province’s roads.

In a separate incident, on the N1 outside Beaufort West, a Provincial Inspector stopped a vehicle for inspection and detected a strong smell of cannabis while interacting with the driver.

‘’Upon further inspection, the vehicle was loaded with boxes labelled as ‘medicinal cannabis’ carrying 200 kg of dagga. The driver could not produce appropriate documentation for transporting the consignment and was subsequently arrested for dealing in dagga,’’ said Mackenzie.

Meanwhile, traffic officials in Caledon seized 2.47kg of cannabis and an uncut diamond wrapped in a piece of paper in the cup holder, after officers pulled over a vehicle that had blue lights installed illegally.

‘’Due to the suspicious behaviour of the occupants, the officers decided to search the vehicle… They arrested three suspects and handed them over to Villiersdorp SAPS,’’ said Mackenzie.

Provincial traffic officials also confiscated 50 Mandrax tablets from a passenger travelling on the R316 between Caledon and Arniston. Mackenzie said officials arrested the passenger and the driver for being in possession of the drugs.

He added that all six suspects were handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

PICTURE: Pixabay


‘’I am incredibly proud of our Provincial Traffic Inspectors, who consistently deliver results that make our roads and communities safer in this province. These results are enabled by innovative technology, collaborative enforcement, hard work, and a commitment to the people of the Western Cape,’’ said Ricardo Mackenzie, Western Cape Mobility MEC.

‘’I commend these officers and all the women and men working hard 24/7 throughout the year to make the Western Cape safe and protect road users. They also continue to support the Infrastructure teams who are building back and reopening roads damaged during the recent floods,’’ he added.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

CoCT officers fitted with bodycam and dashcams

About 800 law enforcement officers in Cape Town will be kitted out with body cameras, as the City bolsters it technology with Automated Number Plate (ANPR) technology to fight crime.

    PHOTO: City of Cape Town


A further 290 in-vehicle cameras with automated number plate recognition (ANPR) technology − commonly known as dashcams − will be installed this financial year, says the city.

This rollout is the first of its kind in South Africa and forms part of the City’s R860m safety technology investment over the next three years to make Cape Town safer.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis trialled the new body and in-vehicle camera tech during a demonstration in Goodwood on 30 August.

MMC for Safety and Security, JP Smith, joined the mayor.

‘’In the next couple of years, this technology will be standard across our safety services to make Cape Town safer. The 'dashcams' are equipped with Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology so that officers will be alerted to wanted vehicles and outstanding warrants instantly in their vehicles.’’

 ‘’These devices are used widely around the world and have shown tremendous success. This is the first time they are being deployed at this scale for a government agency in South Africa. We’ve already seen the game-changing ability of the ANPR dashcams piloted in our new Highway Patrol Unit launched last year. Based on these learnings, we’re now rolling out cutting edge in-vehicle cameras across our vehicles. Together with body worn cameras, this will massively enhance situational awareness and the quality of evidence gathering to ensure more convictions,’’ said Geordin hill-Lewis, Cape Town Mayor

‘’This also increases trust and accountability in the municipal police and law enforcement, as interactions with the public will now always be recorded. This is important to us. We want Cape Town’s safety services to be trusted by the public, even while trust in other law enforcement agencies is declining. There is also global evidence which shows a steep drop in attacks on law enforcement officers after the introduction of these cameras.

''Cape Town’s overall tech investment amounts to R860m over the next three years, including CCTV, dash and bodycams, aerial surveillance, drones, gunshot detection tech, and the master digital system to coordinate it all – known as EPIC,'' said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

 

PHOTO: City of Cape Town


In summary, Cape Town’s R860m+ safety tech investment includes:

• R118.4m on CCTV

• R118m on Dash and bodycams

• R109m for Aerial surveillance

• R22m on drones

• R10m on gunshot location tech

• R442m on Licence Plate Recognition, EPIC digital coordination, radios, comms systems, IT and network upgrades

 

‘’The full rollout of an in-Vehicle Camera solution will now enable officers to record evidence of incidents as they happen, while also streaming live video to the control rooms for enhanced situational awareness of critical incidents. Digital evidence is vital in the prosecution of offenders, and we are expecting the body worn cameras on officers to provide crucial footage that can be used in court, ensuring a higher rate of successful convictions.

‘’Bodycams will also enhance officer safety by increasing situational awareness and serving as a deterrent to potential perpetrators of assault on officers. The cameras will also act as a safeguard for the public and city staff, particularly in situations where claims are made against officers, helping to maintain transparency and accountability thanks to independent footage that can be viewed in court. Now with this additional form of evidence, courts can instantly rule on matters, having to now only rely on a ‘single version of the truth.’ In turn, this will greatly impact the prosecution process and conviction rate of matters brought to trial.

''The City is learning about best practices from international experts through a series of webinars and in-person workshops. The International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP), Thames Valley Police, the Bavarian Police, Fairfax County Police and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department have all provided expertise to assist the City,’ said JP Smith, MMC for Safety & Security.

Smith said the aim is to gradually roll out this advanced equipment to help with the apprehension and conviction of offenders and enhance overall safety in Cape Town.

 

Done by: Mitchum George

Three sentenced for transporting R403 million’s worth of cocaine

Three suspects were recently sentenced at a Khayelitsha Court after they were nabbed with over R403 million’s worth of cocaine in August 2022.

The Hawk’s Zinzi Hani said officers received a tipoff about a truck possibly transporting drugs on the N1 towards Cape Town, and was spotted at Winelands Engen garage towards Cape Town. The truck stopped at N1 City Mall, where two drivers got out and handed the truck to another person. 

‘’The two original drivers stayed behind at N1 City Mall while another driver drove off with the truck. The team followed the truck. Due to suspicious movement by the driver the team decided to stop the truck on Jan Smuts Drive in Pinelands,’’ said Warrant Officer Zinzi Hani, Hawks Western cape spokesperson.

Hani explained that officers found 672 blocks of cocaine that was concealed in false wooden boards in the back of the truck.

She added that two more suspects were arrested.

Two suspects - Meshack Mzugezi Ngobese and Elias Radebe - entered into a plea agreement by the State  and were sentenced to six and one years respectively.

Furthermore, another suspect, Ebrahim Karra, entered into a plea agreement by the State and pleaded guilty on dealing in drugs and admitted in his agreement that the cocaine was destined to be sold.

‘’Ebrahim Karra, was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment of which 7 years is suspended for a period of five (5) years, on condition that the accused is not convicted of the same offence during the period of his suspension. Kara, will effectively serve eight (8) years direct imprisonment,’’ said Hani.

PHOTO SUPPLIED - Hawks: Ebrahim Karra sentenced after admitting that cocaine was meant to be sold


The provincial Hawks spokesperson added that a confiscation order was granted where R2 million rand was paid into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA).

 

Done by: Mitchum George

NPA welcomes WC High Court decision to set aside Imam Haron inquest findings

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Western Cape has welcomed the decision by the Western Cape High Court to set aside the findings of an inquest into the death of anti-apartheid activist Imam Abdullah Haron in September 1969.

PHOTO - Mitchum George: Wall painting of Iman Abdullah Haron at Salt River Community House


In the findings of the re-opened 197 inquest, the court found that the death of Imam Abdullah Haron was caused by the cumulative effect of injuries under torture, in particular a combination of severe systematic psychological stresses, including crush injury syndrome precipitated by complications of bunt soft tissue injury, with the possibility of a pre-existing coronary artery disease as a contributing factor.

In its ruling on Monday, the high court said for the past 54 years, the imam’s family, friends and comrades in the anti-apartheid struggle had never accepted the findings of the magistrate.

Judge Daniel Thulare found Haron's death was attributable to the cumulative effect of injuries under torture.

The court also held the then Security Branch of SAP members responsible for the acts and omissions leading directly to his death. It held Lieutenant Colonel Carel Johannes Freysen Pienaar, Major Dirk Kotze Genis, Major Kotze, Captain, Ebanis Jogiemus Johannes Geldenhuys, Sergeant Johannes Petrus Francois ‘Spyker’ van Wyk and Sergent Andries van Wyk as responsible for Imam Haron’s death.

The court ordered the Registrar of the Court to submit the record to the officer of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Western Cape, without delay. It referred the role played by Johannes Hendrik Hanekom Burger, Sergeant Petrus Jacobus Rademeyer, Captain Louis Malan Sergeant Smit, and Prosecutor JS van Graan to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Western Cape, for a decision.

The NPA said it was requested to reopen the inquest on 1 September  2021. It approached Justice & Correctional services Minister, Ronald Lamola, and successfully applied for the reopening of the inquest in March 2022. A presiding officer was appointed on 30 May 2022, and proceedings in terms of the Inquest Act commenced in November.

‘’Following his arrest, he spent 123 days in detention which comprised 75 nights at Caledon Square Police Station and 45 nights at Maitland Police Station except for the two nights between 17 and 19 September 1969, where his whereabouts were unknown. He spent about four months in solitary confinement and was tortured most of the time while in detention.  During the hearing, State Adv Lifa Matyobeni and Adv Deidre Julius argued that Genis and Spyker, members of the notorious Special Branch, conducted most of the interrogations, which generally started at 8h00, with a lunch break at 13h00 and then continued until 16h30. Sometimes interrogations would continue for longer, even until the early morning (midnight),’’ said Eric Ntabazalila, NPA Western Cape spokesperson.

‘’During his detention, he complained of chest pain, stomach pains, broken ribs, and bruises on his body. The interrogators told the inquest that he fell off the stairs at the Caledon Police Station. They denied being responsible for his fall and claimed he fell on his back bruising his buttocks.’’

‘’Senior State Pathologist and Head of Pathology Services at the state pathology laboratory in Cape Town, Dr Theodor Gottfried Schwar, conducted a postmortem examination on 28 September 1969, after the body was identified to him by Col Pienaar and Warrant Officer Blake at the Salt River Mortuary. He later compiled a postmortem report. The postmortem examination was conducted in the presence of Dr E Slobedman, a private pathologist from Cape Town. He concluded the cause of death was myocardial ischemia which was the decreased blood flow to the heart muscle due to narrowing coronary absorption,’’ added Ntabazalila,

PHOTO - Mitchum George: Wall painting of Iman Abdullah Haron at Salt River Community House


Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicolette Bell, welcomed the judgment which she said was the result of the NPA’s commitment to pursuing priority Truth and Reconciliation Commission cases.

Ntabazalila said over the past few years, the NPA and the Hawks had focused on enhancing capacity and streamlining processes to ensure effective handling of TRC cases and reopening and pursuing priority cases.

“Sixteen prosecutors and 39 [Hawks] investigators have been appointed within the various divisions to deal exclusively with TRC matters, to work with families, and to investigate cases, inter alia, of murder, torture and disappearances.”

He said there are 135 matters currently under investigation.

‘’In some cases, prosecutions had begun. In others, inquests were being held or even re-held to establish the circumstances of, and responsibility for, these deaths. The effluxion of time poses many challenges in the investigation of these matters. But time is not on our side, and we must continue to strive for justice,” said Eric Ntabazalila, NPA Western Cape spokesperson.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Woman who allegedly poured boiling water on child, awaits regional court date

The woman who allegedly poured boiling water over a 4-year-old child, has been released on R3 000 bail.

According to reports, the burn victim’s family was never informed of her release in September.

The incident occurred on 24 June 2023, where it is alleged that the 22-year-old woman poured boiling water onto the boy who was reportedly playing near the gate of her house in Settlers, kwaLanga. The boy was left with burns on his face, torso and arms.

PHOTO SUPPLIED


Civil organisation, Action Society, is following the case and has called for a zero tolerance approach for perpetrators of violence against children.

“We believe that the justice system needs to take a stronger stance when dealing with perpetrators of violence against children. Granting them bail sends the wrong message. We lost 293 children to murder in the first quarter of this year alone. That is three children per day. Every day four children narrowly escape death due to attempted murder. Every day sixteen children are assaulted with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm,” said Action Society’s Kaylynn Palm.

Bush Radio News previously reported that community members gathered outside the suspects house in June, in protest for this incident.

EFF activist Mbulelo Dwane, intervened in the case, as its reported that police did not take action. The woman was arrested on 6 July. She appeared twice in court and her bail application was denied on July 14. She then appeared on 20 September, where the case has again been postponed to 25 October 2023.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in the Western Cape, Eric Ntabazalila said the suspect was facing a charge of attempted murder.

“She was released on bail after she appealed at the high court. Her case has been postponed until October 25 for a regional court date.”

 

Done by: Mitchum George

Steady progress being made on Cape Flats water maintenance - CoCT

The City of Cape Town says steady progress has been made across the five sites where the municipality’s 72-hour water shutdown on the Cape ...